Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on March 2, 1974 · Page 11
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 11

Reno, Nevada
Issue Date:
Saturday, March 2, 1974
Page 11
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What's been happening as everyone watched Pyramid Meanwhile, By TOD BEDROS1AN As urban growth squeezes the Truckee River watershed like a soggy sponge, Northern Nevada's water seems uncertain at both ends of the river. At the desert terminal, the Pyramid Lake Indians are going to court to gain enough water to stabilize their lake. In the Sierra Nevada mountains northwest of Lake Tahoe a regional population is growing thirsty for the river water. IN TRUCKEE A building inspector in Truckee noted this winter, "We are the ones who have to live right in the middle of the winters that give the Truckee River most of its water. Why shouldn't we get more water?" Truckee, long considered a bucolic mountain community surrounded with an abundance of forest beauty but lack of population (about 1,025 in 1968), is becoming a seasonal community for skiers and summer homes. Since 1969 the number of building permits issued in Truckee has doubled annually with no signs of declining. Between 1969 and 1971 Nevada County issued 1,424 building permits for $4.5 million in construction valuation. SMALL PORTION In 1973 the Nevada County Planning Commission approved 12,000 new units. Only a small portion of this boom has been completed in the Tahoe-Donner area. But while Truckee burgeons with alpine affluence which will demand more water, Nevada's water allocation is tied up in a federal water rights suit Reno Evening PHONE (702) 323-3161 Movie director Robert Altman, left, says he avoids Hollywood studios. He said Hollywood encourages 'type' pictures. So with him this week on location in Reno at the Mapes Hotel for the Men from 'M.A.S.H.' come to Reno Instead of 'hit me, 9 By JEANN1E RASMUSSEN Reno's seen many a poker game. There's one Reno game, however, the world's going to see. On film. In color. With big-name players. It's the climax of a movie being filmed in Reno, "California Split," starring George Segal and Elliott Gould. The film crew, headed by Robert Altman, director of "M.A.S.H.," took over the top floor of the Mapes Hotel, turning the Sky Room into a casino and the Trophy Room into a poker parlor. DIVIDED UP The Trophy Room, normally a banquet hall or meeting room, was divided into several sections, including an electrician's room and a camera dark room. About 40 technicians were jammed into the small section used as the movie set. Altman, 49, with curly gray hair and a matching beard, moved easily through the controlled confusion this week caused by cramming so many people into such a small space. On the day the climatic poker game was filmed he spent much of the afternoon twirling his Mississippi riverboat gambler's hat on his fingertips and chatting with the actors. "California Split" author Joseph Walsh, an actor making his debut as a writer, said the gaming scenes are authentic, drawn from his experiences as a gambler. BETTER AND BETTER He was enthused with the film's progress. "It's all there, what 1 wrote. I thought I'd be hating it, sitting here watching, but it just keeps getting better and better. " He said the company has had extraordinary luck. "If we can't get someone for a role or job, we find someone else who turns out to be even greater." "It's so good it's frightening me. "Elliott and George both say they're doing the best work of their lives." Walsh started out as a child actor in 1950s in live television in New York City As a teen-ager he went to the West Coast, starring in "Hans Christian Andersen" with Danny Kaye and "The Juggler" with Kirk Douglas Since then he's divided his time between television and movies. AS A BOOKIE While serving as co-producer with Altman, he is also appearing in the film as a bookie. . As the filming progressed, and the actors occupied themselves with Park fund requests swamp state CAKSON CITY (AP)-Nevada cities and counties want nearly three times the $576,000 in federal park and recreation funds available this year, state Parks Chief JSric Cronkhite said Friday. which threatens to go on for years. The suit has in turn stalled congressional interstate water agreement which would give California about 10 per cent of the Truckee River's water and Nevada 90 per cent. WON'T QUIT Bill Bechdolt, vice chairman of the Bi-state Compact Commission which has been working on the agreement since 1955, said this week in Tahoe City, "By no means has California ever thought of abandoning the compact. "This is the basis for any water applications at the present time in the Truckee area. Water will have a tremendous bearing on the population there. If you don't have the water, you can't have the population." Nevada State Water Engineer Roland Westtrgard said California has cooperated with Nevada to take only water from the Truckee River which is granted in the unofficial water agreement. But water rights and ground water supplies in the Truckee area are so nebulous many developers have skirted the unofficial water agreement in some cases by drilling wells which may or may not tap into the ground water supply for the Truckee River. Ken Milam, assistant planning director in Placer County said, "The bi-state compact is in such a state of disarray and confusion that some of the advice given to developers by their attorneys (in Placer County) is to go ahead and use the water and that will give you a handle on it. "We try to make every No Hollywood studios Cronkhite said at least 25 projects running close to $1.5 million in total costs had been submitted by the local government entities to his agency. Tf federal land and up in the mountains, developer guarantee he has water rights. But for the time being we are following the water rights question, but also partly ignoring it." While developers and engineers in California assure downstream users the quantity and quality of the Truckee River will remain high, Nevada legislators are skeptical. Legislators became particularly alarmed when five of the area's sewer districts proposed a joint effluent plant. The $28 million dollar plant could service 178,000 persons by 2020. Nev. State Sen. Thomas R.C. "Spike" Wilson, D-Reno, chairman of an investigative committee said There's a building boom upstream from Reno. The people who are building them want water and sewer plants. Some Nevadans believe The Tahoe-Truckee-Donner development will encourage even more RENO, NEVADA, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 1974 filming of center, and water conservation funds are used on a 50-50 matching basis. The administration slashed the funds from a level of about $1.7 million sent to Nevada last fiscal year, i the plant would encourage overpopulation in the area. SAFE LIMIT "No land use analysis has been made to determine the limits beyond which development must go because of serious consequences to water quality, nor has sufficient analysis been made of the safe limit of waste water return to the river. "How well we respond to this problem now will have a direct effect upon the ultimate quality and nature of the Truckee River," he wrote to the Reno City Council in 1973. O. R. Butterfield, manager of the Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency (T-TSA) disagreed with The boom upriver from Reno Gazette for them part of "California Split" Elliott Gould. it was 'call9 real hands of poker, Walsh was often called to the table to offer advice on how to play a hand. The movie game turned real as Altman sat in for a hand while the crew rearranged overhead lights. Tommy Thompson, production manager and assistant director, said the crew encountered only one major problem in Reno the Reno arch. It wouldn't light up. "There's only one man who knows where the switch is," Thompson said. "We had engineers from Harolds Ciub looking all over the place, the basement, everywhere. And we had people all over town looking lor the Ad Art man in his pink truck." When the man was found, after the movie crew and a bus holding 60 extras waited for an hour and a half, "he just backed his truck up real easy, swung his ladder up, climbed the sign and flipped the switch." Thompson said the snafu cost about $5,000. He estimated production costs at $20,000 a day. PAYING BILL Altman's Won World Productions is footing the bill. "California Split" is his seventh major film in five years. He's just finished "Thieves Like Us," a Depression-era story released this month. His previous films include the award-winning comedy "M.A.S.H.," and "The Long Goodbye," which had Gould playing detective Philip Marlow. Altman avoids Hollywood studios. "When you're around a studio, you're easily persuaded into making a 'type' of picture that seems to be the current fad. "I didn't want these attitudes to rub off on me. " He often shares credit with a writer "in the movies, a script is just a blueprint." The poker game in "California Split" was an example of his philosophy. The actors changed their lines through each rehearsal and actual filming. Altman eliminated a line because it "slows it, drags it." GUIDLINES Walsh, watching from a chair on the sidelines, said he told the poker players "you're the playboy type or you're the silent one," and since each actor was also an experienced gambler, they took the dialogue from there. Amarillo Slim, a championship poker player, portrayed himself in the game, apparently taking the commotion with ease. He exchanged quips with an actress in cocktail waitress costume, and looked Gould straight in the eye as he said, "Are you in this game? " Cronkhite said the various projects will have to be reviewed by the parks division and the state park advisory commission. A final ruling can be expected in late spring he added. Wilson saying the treated sewage would be of "drinking water quality." On Jan. 28 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended the plant be cut back to one third the size originally planned with a capacity for 65,000 people by 1994. HEARING PLANNED A public hearing on the Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency sewage plant will be conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency in Reno at 9 a.m. Wednesday. It will be in courtroom II of the federal building at 300 Booth St. No agency has been able to say how much population people in the area and endanger Nevada's water supply. Snarling the forecast is the legal fight over Pyramid Lake water. (Gazette Photo) ELEVEN are actors George Segal, they want water the area's resources can support. Sharon Boivon, planning director for Nevada County, said, "Our major consideration is what the land can sustain. We are putting a lot of sensitivity factors into our plans. "We consider not only how many people we can handle, but also how many people we want." USE WELLS She said, most of the developers told the planning commission they would rely on wells for ground water supply. "Very few of the subdivisions went to the river for their water supply. 1 don't recall the Truckee River was a major source of water." 'The Exlixer of Love 9 Puffer gets his chance, an opera singing role By ROGER JOSEPH Impresario Ted Puffer is itching to perform a singing role in an opera. Organizer, manager and director of the Nevada , Opera Guild, Puffer will finally have the opportunity to enact a role in the forthcoming production of "The Elixir of Love" slated for Reno's Pioneer Theater March 8-9. "He has been pressured ever since he arrived here to perform a role," said his wife Deena. "But he never had one with opera conducting experience available to take over for him." PROVED TALENT Now he has Tonu Kalam, a 26-year-old up and coming conductor, who proved his worth when he handled the baton for the benefit concert presented by the Sierra Collegium Musicum last fall. Kalam conducted the orchestra during the entire second half of the concert with skill and finesse as he led the musicians in Mozart's "Recitative and Rondo" with Puffer doing the piano obbligato and Tschaikowsky's "Capriccio Italien" while Puffer played drums. In Reno, Kalam has also appeared as pianist in the University of Nevada, Reno department of music's Connoisseur Series in honor of the centennial of Sergie Rachmaninoff's birth. He appeared in recital with soprano Mary Lou Reid and cellist John Lenz and he played in "The Messiah." AT CONCERTS During his spare time, Kalam must take a busman's holiday for he is invariably seen at concerts in the community. Young conductors are becoming the "in thing" nowadays. Despite his Gaming license changes filed CARSON CITY (AP; -Applications have been filed here for changes in operators at Circus Circus on the Las Vegas Strip and the Primadonna Club in Reno, Thomas Carrigan, chief investigator for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said Friday. The applications, filed with the control board this week, would allow William Bennett of Las Vegas and William Pennington of Reno LdHEN I CRITICIZED HOUR STORf, I STEPPEP ON . HWR TALE Development in Nevada and Placer counties include nearly 20 individual developments and two major ski areas. About 1,000 units have been approved at North Star ski area in Placer County. Placer County Supervisor Jim Henry predicts between 13.000 to 25,000 people in Martis Vallev to the north by 1980. Tahoe Donner, a 4,000-acre ski-condominium complex one mile west of Truckee, is the largest development in the area. In 1970 the Nevada County Planning Commission approved 5,980 units with the understanding the development would get its water from Donner Lake. PIPE BLOCKED Since then the California Land Use Commission has prevented Tahoe Donner from putting a pipe into Donner Lake. E. A. Hamilton, project manager at Tahoe Donner said, the complex will depend on wells if need be. "We feel, as do all governmental bodies up here, there is sufficient water it is just a matter of where we go to get it." The Truckee Donner Public Utility District (TDPUD) is obligated to provide water to Tahoe Donner, according to Tom Paulas, district manager. "They are in our service area and we are bound to serve them," he said. "Originally we were going to take water from Donner Lake but the state attorney youthfulness, however, Kalam has had considerable experience. Kalam was reared in Boston which for a number of years was rated the number one cultural city in the U.S. He has studied with great conductors all over the country, including the eminent Max Rudolph who has been with the Metropolitan Opera Company for many years. Kalam went to New York last October to catch Rudolph's production of "Elixir of Love." "Just seeing him do it," said Kalam, "gave me ideas on tempo and characterization. It's a very funny opera. The audience really gets into it. It's very in-fectuous in laughter. It has great tunes one after another. The way Professor Puffer is staging it will add to the comedy." GUEST CONDUCTOR During the semester break recently, Kalam was guest conductor of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra for two weeks. Deena Puffer TONU KALAM to take over gambling operations at the Las Vegas casino from Jay Sarno. - Sarno had said Tuesday that some discussions were being held into possible changes in operators at Circus Circus but nothing definite had been decided. Asked whether the Teamsters pension fund might be interested in getting a new operator since it has loaned more than $19 million to the club and is w general filed a complaint i against the pipe." NOT EXPERT - Paulas said he did not-think the wells drilled by' Tahoe Donner would take'- ground water from the flow of the Truckee River but, " "I'm no expert." "A Dr. John Sharp, president 7 of Hydro-Search Inc. in Reno, is doing ground water ; ' studies for the TDPUD. : "It is too early to tell what the effect of drilling wells will be on the Truckee .; River," he said. Sharp said no one really. a knows what effect upstream use will have on Pyramid ' Lake. "The lake is a dynamic -system. I'm not setting; myself up as an expert on the hydrology of Pyramid Lake, probably no one is. But everyone says we need more water for Pyramid Lake. Nobody really knows what 100,000 acre " feet of water might do to Pyramid Lake." COURT PROBLEM Sharp said more in-;, formation is needed for; river management but, "ultimately the allocation of water will have to be settled by the courts in both states. . "Right now the situation is in suspension. There is no way of saying there will be an over draft of water from the river. "It seems to me Nevada would be foolish not to ask these questions, but right now the Truckee River's water rights and allocations i are under the cloud of this . (Pyramid Lake) suit.,-. Meanwhile life goes on." UIVU Willi & UUV.1 Vl 1 the translation of "Elixir of ': T.nvp ." Shf is Puffpr's.. 1 T U . i ...:tu .ff assistant on a voluntary basis, taking care of a mvriad of small details for , wnicn no director wouia have sufficient time. "His (Puffer s) roles have always been comic roles," said Mrs. Puffer. "And in this opera the tenor is a comic part. He is the village DumpKin. Supporting Puffer will be' these principals who will sing their roles in English;,-, Janet Winston, Michael Gallup, John Kildahl and,; Suellyn Drown. Mrs. Puffer believes that;-opera is a living art and, should be performed in the-, language of the audience.. She translates in four-, languages from Spanish, . Italian, German and French. ?, OWN LANGUAGE "In Germany they do not' sing Italian opera in Italian," said Mrs. Puffer.' "They sing in German ; always in their own; language." Since "Elixir of Love" is a I comic opera it will elicit.' more laughs from thel audience because the humor.; will be more readily com--prehended. Nobody ever leaves a" Puffer opera saying, "K didn't understand a single,; solitary sentence but I ; really enjoyed it." The Puffer method is no doubt better for singers too,.t Very often in the history of j; American opera there have-been singers who didn't-comprehend what they were singing attempting to en tertain audiences who didn't know what was being sung" The Puffers have changed : opera's highbrow image.-? They do not merely attract followers with olfactory; organs high up in the air and" dressed in monkey suits. ' considering another $7.6;; million loan, Sarno said the; fund had nothing to do with running the club. The second application-was filed by the Del E. Webb" Corp., seeking permission to buy the Primadonna Club in'; Reno. Del Webb, which ' operates hotel-casinos in Las Vegas and at Stateline recently announced an; agreement to purchase the. club from founder Ernie.. Primm.

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